Detroit has come a long way since the 1980s when hundreds of fires on devil’s night burned across the city. For that reason, its now called Angel’s Night and hundreds of volunteers now patrol the streets making Angel’s Night a much different story.
Statistically Angels’ Night weekend has a higher number of arsons, but nothing like it was a few decades ago. And most of that can be attributed to the volunteers.
“When we first started there were a lot of fires, now it’s getting better, but now you can see the flight going on. It looks bad, but it’s still good because we have people here who care. And we need more people that care,” said long time volunteer Howard Davis.
The idea is for volunteers like Davis to continually drive around with those signature orange flashing lights and report anything that looks suspicious.
To put it in perspective, back in 1984 Detroit had some 800 fires on Angels’ Night, but now that number is typically between 100 and 200.
“Even when I had my stroke I came up here. And I still walk with my cane now because of my children, grandchildren and other children,” said volunteer Nona Martin.
The hope is that volunteers will patrol between 6 p.m. and midnight and longer if they’re willing for the next three days.
According to the Detroit Police Department, as of 11 p.m. the night was pretty quiet.
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